People, Travel

Yazd Could Benefit From Ecotourism

Yazd Could Benefit From EcotourismYazd Could Benefit From Ecotourism

Yazd Province stands to gain from ecotourism thanks to its unique ecology, according to the head of the Department of Environment.

“Investing in ecotourism will pay dividends, and Yazd has a lot to offer,” Massoumeh Ebtekar said at a meeting with the Yazd Planning Council, the Young Journalists Club reported.

Protected areas in the central province are home to many rare species, including the Persian fallow deer, Persian leopard and Persian onager (or zebra).

The DOE has rarely approved ecotourism proposals tabled by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, and the department’s reluctance stems from its concerns for the environment.

The department has yet to green light a proposal to facilitate ecotourism investment in protected areas, even though the CHHTO updated its ecotourism regulations earlier this year and obliged tour operators to comply to ensure no harm is inflicted on the environment.

If done right, ecotourism not only creates jobs for the locals and boosts the economy, but also funds environmental conservation projects.

However, experience has it that Iran still has a long way to go before it can properly implement ecotourism and its policies. A visible lack of facilities combined with carelessness on the part of tourists and locals alike has taken a toll on the environment.